Mary Reilly

Mary Reilly

by Valerie Martin


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From the acclaimed author of the bestselling Italian Fever and award winning Property, comes a fresh twist on the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, a novel told from the perspective of Mary Reilly, Dr. Jekyll's dutiful and intelligent housemaid.

Faithfully weaving in details from Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, Martin introduces an original and captivating character: Mary is a survivor–scarred but still strong–familiar with evil, yet brimming with devotion and love. As a bond grows between Mary and her tortured employer, she is sent on errands to unsavory districts of London and entrusted with secrets she would rather not know. Unable to confront her hideous suspicions about Dr. Jekyll, Mary ultimately proves the lengths to which she'll go to protect him. Through her astute reflections, we hear the rest of the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, and this familiar tale is made more terrifying than we remember it, more complex than we imagined possible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375725999
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/10/2001
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 276,711
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Valerie Martin is the author of ten novels, including The Ghost of the Mary CelesteThe Confessions of Edward Day, TrespassMary ReillyItalian Fever, and Property; three collections of short fiction; and a biography of Saint Francis of Assisi, titled Salvation. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s Orange Prize (for Property).

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Mary Reilly 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anthrogrl More than 1 year ago
Stevenson's 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' has been portrayed many times through various films, but Valerie Martin's novel takes a different viewpoint- through the eyes of Mary, Dr. Jekyll's housemaid. For those who have seen the film prior to reading, be warned that the book differs significantly on several important points. Martin's novel is original, thoughtful, and ultimately just as tragic as the original story. The reader can easily identify with Mary, who can't seem to shake off her sad past. Her relationship with Dr. Jekyll is not one of romance, but of shared unhappiness and tragedy. In Mary Dr. Jekyll sees a trustworthy servant, while Mary views the doctor as a virtuous man who can have no connection to her unhappy past. Martin does an excellent job of preserving the issues of morality and psychology that the orginal novel puts forth. I highly recommend this novel- you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The movie is much better.
jcmontgomery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A must read companion to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The author provides a unique viewpoint which adds even more dimension to Stevenson's classic story.
alaskabookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this immediately after reading "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", and it made a very interesting companion piece. Martin is a really great writer, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
Cariola on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago when it first came out and reread it now for a course I am teaching. It's the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, told from the viewpoint of a young Irish housemaid. In Stevenson's novel, there are hardly any women, and those who do appear are pretty much part of the furniture. By creating a female narrator who works in Jekyll's household, Martin opens up the novel to other themes, including the Victorian patriarchy, the social hierarchy, hidden sexuality, the craving for safety. She also allows her characters greater psychological depth. Mary is depicted as a strong girl, made stronger by enduring years of abuse from her father. She knows her place yet can't help but be stirred by the apparent interest of her kind, elderly employer. Despite her revulsion, she is also attracted to Dr. Jekyll's assistant, the crude and violent Mr. Hyde--mainly because of what he seems to mean to Jekyll. I enjoyed the novel--but not as much as I did the first time. Thankfully, it was new to all of my students. I found it interesting that most of the men preferred Stevenson's fairly straightforward approach to the story, while the women preferred Martin's more complex approach. They are writing papers on the two books, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to say.
EBT1002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's been years since I read this but I had to add it to my "favorites" list. As a fan of [Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde] I loved this version of the story. It affected my later reading of the classic, gave it more depth and dimension (and that's saying something!).
SmithSJ01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fabulous story about one of Dr Jekyll's domestic staff - Mary Reilly. It cleverly weaves in extracts from Robert Louis Stevenson's `Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The length may seem short but Valerie Martin packs a lot into this story. All of the characters are wonderful and with Martin's eye for detail the imagery brings the household to life. I haven't read the original story, but know of the plot and I found it entertaining and enthralling to read about it from one of the original characters. It's a bit like looking at a painting and wondering about what really when on behind the story. Even the way in which writers of the time would put lines after the initial for street names etc has been adopted by Martin, giving it a authentic feel time wise. The ending makes you reflect on what life genuinely must've been like for domestic staff at that time and I would certainly go on to read the original classic itself plus more by the author herself. Several pleasant hours whiled away with this book. It felt authentic of it's time even by the layout and chapter dividings, let alone everything else the author succeeded with
heidilove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
an interesting take, i read this when it came out back in the 90's. not my favorite work, and I wouldn't say Martin is going to reinvent gothic literature or our understanding of women in it. An interesting attempt, nonetheless.
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